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Cough, metallic taste, shortness of breath, pain in back of arms and hands. How long does this last?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
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I recently had a bout with a large amount of bleeding from my lungs( hemoptysis). It has been over 8 weeks and I still have a short forceful cough with a terrible metalic taste and shortness of breath. Also when I cough I get sharp shooting tingles in the back of my arms and hands! They said it was all stemming from bronchitis. How long does this last and will the fatigue and forcefully raspy coughing end? I cannot enjoy any of my regular activities and even took a leave from work.
Posted Sat, 29 Sep 2012 in Lung and Chest disorders
 
 
Answered by Dr. Aparna Kohli 2 hours later
Hi XXXXXXX
Thanks for writing to us,
Bronchitis can cause hemoptysis, fatigue and a constant, never ending cough. But to be able to help you better, I would need some information from you:
a. Do you smoke? If yes, how long have you been smoking? Also, how many cigarettes per day?
b. Has a CT scan of the chest/bronchoscopy been done for you to rule out other causes of hemoptysis?
c. Have you received any treatment for this?
d. Do you have any other complaints like fever, weight loss etc?
e. How did you land up with severe iron deficiency anemia?

Let me know and we can make this discussion more useful then.
Regards

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Cough, metallic taste, shortness of breath, pain in back of arms and hands. How long does this last? 4 hours later
A) I have never smoked nor have I been exposed to repetitive second hand smoke.
B) the ER did a ct scan if my chest to rule out A PE. They felt it was hemoptysis due to the forceful coughing. They stated no medications would help this and sent me home after 6 hrs.
C) Prior to the hemoptysis and ER visit my treatment was a ten day course of Cipro, a z pack and and two Merdrol dose packs.
D) I run a low grade 100.4- 101 off and on for the last 8 weeks, I have had some weight loss mainly because when I eat I often choke. Also no dairy because it
Ames the cough worse. This is all new the last 8 weeks.
E) I am recovered from the severe Iron Def. anemia. It was due to massively heavy menstral cycles and I had a hysterectomy in 2009. By 2011 my iron store were much better and I no longer needed IV iron weekly. I still have a iron % sat around 7 but that is better than the 2% I was at. My hct is holding steady as well .

Just FYI I recently took a leave due to not being able to keep up at work this suspending my medical insurance. It is just so unlike me to be so exhausted and I truly feel that my coughing and such is keeping me up all night. Sometimes I truly think I will not catch my breath it is so raspy and forceful. I should mention the cough has been so intense that I now have a pretty bad bladder prolapse from the intense coughing. I will need to be getting that taken care of as well but thought this might help you understand just how powerful the coughing has been.
Thank you!
 
 
Answered by Dr. Aparna Kohli 16 minutes later
Hi XXXXXXX
Thanks for the additional information.
If the CT scan was absolutely clear, then the possibility of this being bronchitis only is huge. If it was not, we need to consider other things like tuberculosis, bronchiectasis, etc.
Also, bronchitis on its own would not cause a fever. There has to be a secondary infection that we are missing and its possible that you are resistant to the drugs you received.
I think if we take care of the infection and the bronchitis, your fatigue and the cough should go away.
We need to run some tests like testing bronchiolar secretions, sputum samples and culture them. That will tell us the nature of the organism and will help us give you the right treatment
Hope that helps
Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Cough, metallic taste, shortness of breath, pain in back of arms and hands. How long does this last? 38 minutes later
Would you suggest me seeing a general doctor or
A pulmonary doctor to further evaluate my symptoms? I should be getting my new insurance in a week or so and want to see whomever can best help me.
Thanks for the advice, I am a nurse and thought I knew but wanted to hear it from a doctor as this seemed to be going on for so long :)
 
 
Answered by Dr. Aparna Kohli 1 hour later
Hi AAAA
I think seeing a pulmonary specialist would be the best alternative. We would require a decent evaluation and some proper investigations. I am sure we should be able to help.
Regards
Dr Aparna
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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